15 Books That President Obama Bought at a Local Bookstore

On a recent Saturday, President Obama and his family went to a local independent bookstore, Politics and Prose, and purchased 21 books. Here are the books the president bought, ranked from most popular to least popular (based on the number of Amazon reviews).

 

On a recent Saturday, President Obama and his family went to a local independent bookstore, Politics and Prose, and purchased 21 books. Here are the books the president bought, ranked from most popular to least popular (based on the number of Amazon reviews).

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The publisher says: The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

Buy on Amazon

2. Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The publisher says: A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

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3. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The publisher says: National Book Award Finalist. An extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death. Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity.

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4. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

The publisher says: Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award For Fiction. A gorgeous novel by the celebrated author of When the Emperor Was Divinethat tells the story of a group of young women brought from Japan to San Francisco as “picture brides” nearly a century ago. In eight unforgettable sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces the extraordinary lives of these women, from their arduous journeys by boat, to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; from their experiences raising children who would later reject their culture and language, to the deracinating arrival of war.

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5. Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

The publisher says: In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well…

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6. My Antonia by Willa Cather

My Antonia by Willa Cather

The publisher says: One of Cather’s earliest novels—written in 1918—is the story of Antonia Shimerda, who arrives on the Nebraska frontier as part of a family of Bohemian emigrants. In quiet, probing depth, the story commemorates the spirit and courage of the immigrant pioneers whose persistence and strength helped to build America.

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7. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

The publisher says: For grades Preschool–2. “One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight.” Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years.

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8. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

The publisher says: A National Book Awards Longlist Selection. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance. Two doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together.

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9. All That Is by James Salter

All That Is by James Salter

The publisher says: A sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II. From his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. But despite his success, what eludes him is love. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen, and finally he meets a woman who enthralls him—before setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself.

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10. The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

The Sports Gene by David Epstein

The publisher says: We all knew a star athlete in high school. The one who made it look so easy. He was the starting quarterback and shortstop; she was the all-state point guard and high-jumper. Naturals. Or were they? In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustratedsenior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle.

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11. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

The publisher says: Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time. Published in 1975, Ragtime changed our very concept of what a novel could be. An extraordinary tapestry, Ragtime captures the spirit of America in the era between the turn of the century and the First World War.

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12. Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

The publisher says: For grades 3–7. Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal. Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo.

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13. Jinx by Sage Blackwood

Jinx by Sage Blackwood

The publisher says: For grades 3–7. The highly acclaimed first book of a fantasy adventure series set in a mysterious forest, starring a daring new hero. “Readers will thrill to journey with Jinx” (School Library Journal, starred review), a wizard’s apprentice, as he sets off on a quest through the dangerous Urwald, a magical forest full of wizards and were-creatures, and discovers that it is more complex than he could imagine, and that it needs him more than he could ever guess.

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14. Journey by Aaron Becker

Journey by Aaron Becker

The publisher says: For grades Preschool–3. Follow a girl on an elaborate flight of fancy in a wondrously illustrated, wordless picture book about self-determination—and unexpected friendship. A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free.

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15. Ballad of the Sad Café: And Other Stories by Carson McCullers

Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers

The publisher says: A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers’s best stories, including her beloved novella The Ballad of the Sad Café. A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café serves as the town’s gathering place. The Ballad of the Sad Café is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South’s finest writers.

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21 Books That President Obama Bought at a Local Bookstore
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